06:20 GMT25 October 2020
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    Amid the global COVID-19 lockdowns, people are finding themselves feeling lonelier than ever. Coincidentally, the number of online affairs has surged amid widespread stay-at-home orders.

    Married couples that are under lockdown together and are in desperate need of satisfaction have been seeking cybersex in droves, according to a new report released by Ashley Madison, a Canadian dating service marketed for people who are already married or in a relationship. 

    The service has determined that cyber affairs are thriving amid the pandemic, as those in sexless marriages are quarantined at home with their spouses. It found that the site gained a whopping 17,000 new members each day during the pandemic, compared to 15,500 new members a day in 2019.

    The Ashley Madison report further noted that moderators found that among their users, some people want to converse with someone other than their spouse, while others are seeking emotional validation or the fantasy of pursuing a secret sex life. 

    “We’ve spoken to members, and they’re saying they’re using the site as a release valve for the tension that’s built up at home during the pandemic,” Paul Keable, the chief strategy officer of Ashley Madison, told InStyle Magazine. “They’re looking to have needs met that aren’t being met at home.”

    In its most recent study, Ashley Madison found that among its users, 30% of women and 14% of men were having virtual sex with partners outside of their primary relationship. When members were asked if they’re trying to spice up their sex life with their spouses while socially distancing, 76% of respondents said “no.”

    The website’s tagline remains unchanged during the coronavirus crisis: “Life is short. Have an affair.”

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